By Ivana Malvoni and Tatyana Valova
It is clear that art is a tool to express yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your attitude towards something. It is like a shadow that you leave after yourself; it is not equal to oneself, but it is what you are. And without the component of “you” there will not be the exact shadow.
If we needed to identify which art work is related to this or that artist at the exhibition Come sé that opened on February 22 at Casa Masaccio (literally Masaccio’s house) in San Giovanni Valdarno, it would not be difficult at all. It seemed like the artists photocopied themselves into the art work. Look at this girl with dreadlocks who wears sneakers! It must be her colorful and playful balls of clothing bundled together in a laundry basket. Or that guy, it must be he who created the video of pictures over a span of four hours capturing the scenes outside his bedroom window. So, every installation, every photograph, every painting, every video tells the story of the artist and his/her individual personality. “My author is X Y.”
The interesting concept of this exhibition was represented in its title. Come sé is a word-playing title. If you hear it, you can translate it as “like if”, but if you read it, you will see an accent on sé, therefore Come sé will have the meaning of “like oneself”. So, it goes without saying that personality plays an essential role in understanding this exhibition, where the relationship between the two curators and the artists is also crucial. In fact, the connection between the two parties was more of a collaboration in a sense: many of the artists were very young and not fully experienced, the curators helped them shape their work and their personalities.
The formal appearance is not the only important thing of a piece, its meaning also counts, the so called filling of an art pie. However, as other human’s heart is a mystery, sometimes it can be difficult to understand what an artwork shows. Fortunately, the great advantage of going to the opening of this exhibition was the opportunity to talk to every artist and ask them how it was made, why it was made, what it does mean, etc. So, after the explanation you started to feel as if you had become a friend of the artists. Hearing them talk about their works, really opened up the personalities of the artists, and we got to see a small portion of their private lives. Observing the artworks while the authors are explaining the though process and their creation, brings the pieces to life.
It should also be pointed out the unique location that has been chosen for the exhibition. All the artists of this exhibition are students of the Accademia di Firenze, the university that gives a proper and “right” education in fine arts. Masaccio, one of the founder painters of the Renaissance, was born in San Giovanni Valdarno; and Casa Masaccio, the municipal gallery specifically dedicated to contemporary art, has been named after him. This small town has such great history, it played such a role for the Renaissance, therefore, to have this contemporary art show by young emerging artists there, is very controversial, yet very inspirational. This mix of history, famous and less famous names, glorious birthplace that welcomes very up-to-date exhibitions of today, represents a very important step towards the future of contemporary art, and makes it alive.
“My name is… I am like this… I love this and that… and I can do this and that…”
Michele Liparesi, Irene Lupi, Gabriele Mauro, Daniela Pitre, Philipp Path, Jonida Xherri, Francesco Basini Gazzi, Paolo Bernacchia, Davide D’Amelio, Shiva Derakhshan, Stefano Giuri and Lori Lako are the names of those artists who gave us the opportunity to see how it is possible to present yourself without saying these notorious and banal phrases.
Tatyana Valova studies Contemporary Italian Art and Gallery Management at FUA. Tatyana Valova and Ivana Malvoni are part of the F_AIR – Ganzo Collective for the Springsemester 2014
curated by Elena Magini and Arabella Natalini
Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno
Feb. 22 – Mar. 23, 2014